Laser Cutting Articles

The laser cutting technology area has information on 2-D and 3-D cutting machines, optics, resonators, cutting gases, and automated material handling systems. In addition to conventional CO2 systems, it has information on solid-state fiber and disk lasers.

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Optimizing CO2 laser use: Part I

January 10, 2006

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Many factors can affect laser processing efficiency. This article, Part I of a two-part series, stresses laser system maintenance and discusses factors that can affect beam quality and efficiency—namely, impurities introduced by laser gases and gas supply systems and how to prevent them. It also has a supply system requirements list.

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Looking to higher power for laser speed?

December 13, 2005

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Laser beam sources with higher output powers and improved beam qualities have expanded the range of laser applications. Most system's lasers have power higher than 2 kW. Higher power does not always increase the speed, however. Increasing the power during thermal cutting value may cause increased heat-affected zones on the material and place higher demands on the motion system, thus limiting the cutting speed. A new patented cutting machine, the diffusion-cooled CO2 slab laser, may offer improved beam quality and smaller focus diameters under conditions comparable to conventional fast-axial-flow CO2 laser with 4-kW output power.

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Growing gains with lasers

November 8, 2005

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Jeff Adams may have taken the nontraditional route in manufacturing by starting out in the laser equipment vendor community, but he has since moved to the job shop side of the industry, using his laser knowledge and expertise to help grow his 12-year-old laser job shop in Libertyville, Ill.

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Tube, profile cutting with lightning speed

October 11, 2005

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For more than 30 years, lasers have been used successfully for flat sheet cutting. Complex 3-D laser cutting is well-established in the automotive industry.

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Fitness equipment manufacturer pumps up

October 11, 2005

Paramount Fitness Corp., a manufacturer of strength training equipment, used to purchase small quantities of laser-cut parts from outside vendors. Its desire for a laser could not be justified because the quantities of parts were so low. Engineers at TRUMPF worked with Paramount to create special fixtures so that a TC L 2530 sheet metal laser could handle tubular parts. The company soon found the new laser running 10 hours per day, six days a week. In keeping with the company's strategy to reduce direct labor, it soon justified a TUBEMATIC to handle its tubular parts.

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Laser cutting and welding with one tool

October 11, 2005

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Today's laser sources have the power and beam quality needed to cut and join metal in an expeditious and repetitious manner. The market demands that type of flexible production, so those characteristics are basic requirements in modern laser devices. The market demands also have promoted the idea of multifunctional processing. That has led to the development of a combination head capable of laser cutting and welding 3-D metal work pieces.

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Boiled over by laser's performance

August 9, 2005

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Kvaerner Power Inc.'s Fairmont, W.V., metal fabricating operation needed new market opportunities and someone to take over plasma cutting chores after its business partner went out of business. They found a Pennsylvania job shop to help with metal cutting and eventually learned that a 3-D laser could help them bring their outsourced jobs back in-house and that the laser could lead to new business.

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Applying lasers to appliances

July 12, 2005

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Three food service equipment makers spoke with The FABRICATOR about their investments in more automated fabrication equipment, especially lasers, and how these investments have paid off for them, even as the economy takes its time to recover.

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To buy or not to buy?

July 11, 2005

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Metalen Verhoestraete, a metal service center in Roeselare, Belgium, needed a laser, but not just any laser would do. Because many of the company's clients had 3- and 4-meter lasers, Metalen sought a laser that had a much longer bed so it would not compete with its customers.

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Manufacturing more efficiently south of the border

February 8, 2005

Manufacturing requires reliability and service, as John Deere Mexico found out when it researched an upgrade for manufacturing equipment. The company invested in a punch-laser combination machine and a press brake to help become a just-in-time manufacturer.

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Laser-gas delivery systems for all applications, including 24/7 operation

July 13, 2004

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When laser gases are used in significant volumes or in an around-the-clock operation, a centralized gas delivery system is a practical necessity. A well-conceived delivery system reduces operating costs, increases productivity, and enhances safety.

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Laser cell system gives job shop the home field advantage

February 12, 2004

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Contract manufacturer CGI Automated Manufacturing Inc., Cicero, Ill., fabricates parts as an outsource resource for vertical manufacturers. The company started out as a stamping operation, then added other fabrication technologies, including welding, press brake forming, drilling, punching, rolling, shearing, and cutting.

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Cutting through five myths about modern lasers

February 12, 2004

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Whether you're operating a 10-year-old laser machine or evaluating the purchase of a new one, staying up-to-date on current laser cutting technology and techniques can be the key to maintaining a competitive edge.

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Agriculture equipment manufacturer cultivates productivity improvements with laser technology

September 25, 2003

Bourgault Industries specializes in seeding and tillage equipment, and other agricultural products including sprayers, grain carts, and heavy harrows. The company performs all fabrication involved in manufacturing the equipment from sheet or plate to finished product. It examined its operating costs and found that setup times in several parts factored significantly in the overall cost of the part.

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The business of lasers

July 24, 2003

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As we all know, the laser industry has seen easier times. Economic and market pressures have changed the competitive landscape for laser cutting equipment, and the changes are likely to continue. Both lasermakers and laser users need to adapt to the changes in the laser market, and the companies that recognize and adapt first are likely to be those that succeed.

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